“I am only human.”
This concept has been on my heart for a while. Basically, when I use the phrase “I am only human,” it is to *excuse* a behavior, attitude, or something I said.
Sure, it is a fact about my existence…I mess up…But….I want to find a way NOT to *admit* that I messed up…or find a way to justify that messing up is…well…*normal*…so I glibbly say “I am ONLY human!” (Usually with a bit of a defeated attitude, too….and for me…rebellion is there too when I say this….)
The truth is…I am NOT “only” human. I am human, yes….and that has some major drawbacks, to be sure. In fact, my human-ness seems to get in the way quite often!
However, because of the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did for me (and for you), I am not ONLY human! I have His Spirit resident in me. (Romans 8:15; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 6:19) In fact, scripture teaches that I have been made totally new in His sight!!! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Scripture teaches that I have been given EVERYTHING I need for life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3) So, what is with my blaming my choice to sin on being “only human!”?
It is like I want to do what Flip Wilson used to do (a comedian from the 70s) “The Devil made me do it.” Am I really trying to claim that I had no choice in the matter, but my “human-ness made me do it?” Ridiculous, isn’t it?
The truth is, I no longer have to give in to my human-ness. I now have the freedom, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to CHOOSE to give in to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, who is resident in me. I have the ability and the responsibility. (See Romans 8)
Will I fail? Sure, but that doesn’t mean I am to use my humanity as an excuse for failure.
In fact, the Lord tells us “Be holy as I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16) Woah. How holy is God, any how? Completely!
If I am supposed to be holy *as* He is holy, it basically is a biblical mandate for me to keep on keeping on, or as Paul says in Philippians to press on to reach the goal…nothing is worth keeping me from the goal. Holiness IS the goal–becoming Christ-like. It isn’t like I am human and should accept that I will live like a “mere mortal” with the occasional instance of doing something good or holy! Nope. Instead, I am called holy by God and now I am to live in accordance with the identity that HE gives to me. I will live making holy choices with *occasional* struggles with human-ness. NOT the other way around!
Before you think that I am a believer in achieving perfection on this earth….nope. I am not. The scriptures, while telling us God says we are to BE HOLY, also indicate that we won’t achieve that until the day of Christ Jesus–Phil 1:6– (or, as my dear Mother in Law often said…”When we get to glory!).
So why belabor this point???? Well, I have found that what I believe about my identity will radically affect how I behave. If I think of myself as “only human,” I am likely to live as “only human.” When someone says “I am only human” it usually comes with a defeated tone of voice, downcast, dejected. That AIN’T NO WAY TO LIVE!!!! I don’t want to live a defeated “only human” kind of life, do you? Not when the Lord Jesus Christ has paid the price for the glory of God…a treasure beyond fathoming…to be resident within me. No thank you!
Instead, I can believe and KNOW…”I am superhuman!” Believing God about what He says He has done in me, is the key, here. Believe what GOD says…He says His Spirit is in me. He says that He has empowered me for life and godliness…So, if I believe it, I will have a totally different expectation and approach to life! And definitely to my eating!!!!
If I keep eating when I am not hungry, or continue eating when I am already satisfied and blame it on being “only human” that is totally BOGUS. As one dear friend says, Jesus laid down His life for me. Will I not lay down a little food? Especially when I consider that He has sent His Spirit to empower me to do great things? Will I really insist that setting down food is beyond His ability to cope with? Do I think I am beyond the grasp of the Holy Spirit’s reach? Wow…I mean, this is GOD we are talking about! The one who causes the blind to see, stones to be rolled away and gives life to the dead! the one Who created the Heavens and the earth!!!
If I believe that the Spirit lives in me, then I will expect the Lord to empower me to LIVE in step with the Spirit with all of the fruit of the Spirit ripe and ready in my life! (Erm….this includes self-control!) So for me, I am done with excusing myself or my SIN as being all because (whine whine) “I am only human.”
That “ain’t no way to live!!!”